CM – Captain Simon Kjaer, a stone for Denmark in the trauma of Christian Eriksen


When Eriksen collapsed shortly before half-time in the match against Finland at the Euro 2020 on Saturday, time stood still in Copenhagen.

Published: June 16, 2021 1:35 PM |

Last updated: June 16, 2021 1:35 PM

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Denmark’s captain Simon Kjaer trains during a training session for the Danish national team in Helsingor, Denmark, Monday 14 June 2021. (Photo | AP)

ROM: Simon Kjaer is much more than just for Denmark become a captain, the defender is celebrated because of his calm as a stone that saved his teammate and close friend Christian Eriksen’s life.

When Eriksen collapsed just before half-time in the game against Finland at the Euro 2020 on Saturday, in Copenhagen the time is still.

Not for Kjaer, who stormed forward from his half of the pitch to roll Eriksen on his side, stabilize his head and open his mouth to keep him from sticking to his tongue suffocated.

An intervention deemed crucial before medical staff arrived to deliver CPR to the 29-year-old who was in cardiac arrest.

The AC Milan center-back’s quick thinking was for dieje No surprise to those who know Kjaer.

« He has an imperial calm, we saw that in his excellent reaction on Saturday, » said Jean-Michel Vandamme, who recruited Kjaer for the former French club Lille in 2013 AFP.

When the doctors arrived, Kjaer stepped aside and guarded his ailing teammate while he set up the others, many in tears, in a semicircle to protect Eriksen from the public and the television cameras.

When Eriksen’s distraught partner Sabrina Kvist Jensen ran onto the pitch for fear of the worst, it was again Kjaer and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel who hugged her and calmed her down.

« I’m not surprised that Simon Kjaer took the lead take over. He has great ethics and I am proud to consider him my friend. « 

Kjaer and Eriksen know each other well and live in the same city where they work for rival clubs, the AC Milan defender and the midfielder at Serie A champions Inter play.

The teams had a heated rivalry this season when Inter won the championship title after eleven years of waiting and AC Milan returned to the Champions League.

Inter was Italian midfielder Nicolo Barella one of the first to praise Kjaer: « Beyond the colors, congratulations Simon, a captain and a real man. »

Inter boss Giuseppe Marotta emphasized his « very important intervention », while Inters ultra fans even put up a banner to pay tribute to the Danish captain.

At AC Milan, some supporters even demanded that Kjaer, who joined the club in January 2020, take the captaincy’s armband.

It’s not as far-fetched a suggestion as the d Current captain Alessio Romagnoli no longer plays in the first team and the contract of goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma expires at the end of June.

There are other candidates such as the Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, midfielder Franck Kessie or Davide Calabria, the longest-serving Milan player.

Kjaer won over them in Milan, as he did in Lille between 2013 and 2015.

« The first thing I remember is the person. He was an exemplary boy, very nice and a real professional who lived his profession to the full. When you have guys like that, you don’t forget them, « says Rene Girard, his coach in Lille, told AFP.

It remains to be seen how the Kjaer, the player, will end this EM after such intense emotions.

He resumed the game against Finland on Saturday, but shortly afterwards asked in shock as Denmark lost 1-0 to be taken off the field.

« He tried but couldn’t. It’s completely understandable, « said coach Kasper Hjulmand, who will need Kjaer on Thursday for his second Group B game against Belgium and Romelu Lukaku, Eriksen’s form-strong Inter team-mate.

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